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GM Opted Not to Implement Partial Fix

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Tina Robinson3 years ago

General Motors devised a partial fix for their defective ignition switches in 2005, but scrapped it in favor of more cost effective measures.

Details of the Proposed GM Ignition Fix

A report by NBC News reveals that GM had devised a solution that would have at least partially fixed the problem with faulty ignition switches, but decided not to implement it, determining that it was not cost effective.

Testimony and documents from a lawsuit brought against GM shows that in 2005, engineers suggested altering keys to have a smaller opening for the key ring to reduce jostling. Instead of implementing new keys, GM created an insert that could be placed in the key.

Dealerships were advised of the insert through a bulletin, but were told only to use the insert if owners complained about the engine shutting down. In the end less than 500 of the inserts were given out.

Estimates say the initial fix, if it had been implemented, would have cost as little as $1 per car.

About the GM Recall

  • 1.6 million cars, including the Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion, were recalled last month due to faulty ignition switches
  • The recalled vehicles are susceptible to engine shut down when keys in the ignition are bumped or have added weight. The faulty ignition switches have been linked to 13 deaths.
  • Testimony has also uncovered that GM began making incremental changes to a part inside the ignition itself in 2005. Consumers were not made aware of the changes. 

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